iWork/iCloud vs Office365/OneDrive

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Diving Capers, Jul 28, 2017.


iWork/iCloud vs Office365/OneDrive ?

  1. iWork/iCloud

  2. Office365/OneDrive

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  1. Diving Capers macrumors 6502

    Diving Capers

    Jun 10, 2017
    Good day all,

    I'm about to start a project using only an iPad, I've done plenty of work on my iPad in the past, however I've also used my MBP along side it.

    This project will be iPad only and was wondering how good is Office365 + OneDrive ?

    Up to now I've been using Office on my Mac and iWork on the iPad, but since this will be pad only I am wondering it it would be worthwhile investing in Office365. My concern is the that it a subscription app.

    Does anyone use both? Any significant advantages of one over the other?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. FrisbeeK9 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2006
    I was using iCloud and the iWork products. I didn’t find the interface as easy to use as the Office products. Yes this is hard for me to embrace Microsoft products but Word and Excel work great. I did also discover One note as well this will replace my Evernote subscription.
    I just signed up with Office 365 and both Word and Excel work perfectly on the iPad Pro 12.9. I’m using the university student account subscription and I get 1 Terabyte One Drive storage.
  3. Diving Capers thread starter macrumors 6502

    Diving Capers

    Jun 10, 2017
    Thanks for replying, the 1tb OneDrive storage that comes with the O365 subscription is what got me thinking about it as an option.

    My main concern was the possibility of the office apps being rubbish, but if they are actually good it might be the way to go.

    The iPad I'll be using is also a 12.9 which I think help the whole experience.
  4. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    I heavily use both on iMac, 11" MBA, and 12.9 iPad Pro. As for which is better, that is greatly dependent upon what features and capabilities of each productivity suite you will be using.

    If this is an 'iPad only" activity, then you will find that Office365 falls woefully short compared to alternatives. MS Office for iPad does an outstanding job of accurately displaying Office files on the iPad. Even documents with advanced formatting will DISPLAY properly on the iPad. You can even MODIFY documents with advanced formatting, but you will not be able to CREATE documents with advanced formatting... nor can you ADD advanced formatting features to the doc.

    With iWork/iCloud, they have fewer features than MS Office. If you can get along without those advanced features, you may find that it will work better (relatively speaking)... but there will still be issues.

    Neither iWork for iOS nor MS Office for iPad "fully expose" the capabilities of these applications in their user interfaces.

    For example: Neither iWork Pages nor MS Word (iOS versions) provide the ability to apply character styles in documents. They can apply paragraph styles. In iWork Pages, you CAN copy a character style that exists in a document and paste the style to a different fragment of text. But the character style needs to exist in the document.

    Regardless of the route you choose to take, it will require you to re-think how you perform certain tasks. Post some more specific scenarios and we'll be able to offer more direct recommendations.
  5. Diving Capers thread starter macrumors 6502

    Diving Capers

    Jun 10, 2017
    First of all thanks for taking the time to reply.

    I will be using all 3 applications, the most heavy use will be with Pages/Word, followed by Numbers/Excel and then Keynote/PowerPoint. I will also use Notes/OneNote for... well notes.

    Pages/Word: writing and developing Standard Operating Precedures

    Numbers/Excel: Budgets, Flowcharts and Inventory

    Keynote/PowerPoint: Presentations

    I've just ordered a 12.9 iPP but am debating if I should cancel and order a MacBook instead. I would prefer to go ahead with the iPad though. I know that productivity wise I will need to adapt my workflow I I go with the iPad. The MacBook would be the easier choice... but where is the fun in that?
  6. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    It's all fun and games... until a deadline looms. :p

    OneNote is free and does not require an O365 subscription to use it. Regardless of which office suite used, I recommend OneNote for rich-content notes.

    re: Pages/Word & SOP's. If these documents need to conform to things like ISO9000/9001 document control elements, then the iOS versions of Pages/Word will not be helpful.

    re: Numbers/Excel & budgets, flowcharts, and inventory. For very basic functionality, these will handle the job fine. But anything beyond the basics, and it'll be a hard uphill slog. In general, working on spreadsheets larger than the iPad's screen is simply a very poor experience. For those times that I need to work on such a spreadsheet on my iPad Pro, I use Jump Desktop to remotely connect to my iMac and using a mouse and ASK, I'll work on the full version of Numbers and Excel. I keep the current working set of files on iCloud and/or OneDrive so that I have the flexibility to remotely work on my iMac.

    re: Keynote/PowerPoint and presentations. Here is where both shine on the iPad Pro. They offer nearly all the functionality one needs for CREATING presentations. Where the iPad Pro becomes a liability is in PRESENTING. Depending upon your presentation style, you will find that it works perfectly or unusable. For my presentation needs, the iPad Pro falls quite a bit short... particularly in the support for presentation remote controls.

    Thanks for the additional detail regarding what you'll need to do. My recommendation (assumes that your MBP is still functional) is for you to continue forward with your 12.9 iPad Pro purchase. Get the Smart Keyboard (if you haven't already).

    Rather than use the iPad Pro to REPLACE your MBP, use it as an EXTENSION of it. Use the MBP to create any advanced-formatted documents but use the iPP for everything after that. Invest in Jump Desktop and Citrix X1 Mouse so that when you are out-and-about and need to do macOS-y things, you can use the iPP to remotely connect to your MBP and drive it with the ASK and X1 mouse as if you were sitting in front of it.

    That is what I'm currently doing. Over time, the amount of times that I have to "fall-back" to remotely connect to my iMac is slowing decreasing. My hope is that with the release of iOS 11 and additional app updates, I'll be able to do all but the most advanced tasks on the iPP.

    Along those lines, I've been experimenting with Chromebooks to see how well they serve the purpose of being an EXTENSION of my iMac. The results have been extremely interesting but a topic for another thread.
  7. Diving Capers thread starter macrumors 6502

    Diving Capers

    Jun 10, 2017
    It's exactly what I am afraid of. I got the idea of spicing things up and going iPad only for this project when I saw the preview of iOS 11.

    I've used my old iPad for very basic doc creation and was hoping that the apps had matured (substantially) during the past 2 years. I haven't used Office for iPad at all and was hoping that it would provide all the same functionality as the desk top version.

    Some days you are left with no other option than to shake your fist at reality and its limitations.

    I'm still going to give it a go, if only to satisfy my curiosity, and see how long it takes for me to give my "military drop test" iPad cover a test of my own. Might need to cancel the UAG and order an Otter Box.

    I'm also thinking I might as well test Office365, the 1tb cloud storage is appealing, and since I need to finish this in 6 months, the 1 year subscription will be sufficient as a dedicated cloud solution.

    The iPad doesn't arrive for 2 weeks, so I'll enjoy my 14 or so days of sanity that will be followed by the new iPad honeymoon period and then the slap back to reality.

    Thanks for your insight.
  8. TinaBelcher Suspended

    Jul 23, 2017
    Speaking of Office for iOS, how long does it take for the apps to load on your iPads? I have a 4-year-old iPad Air, and the Office apps take forever to load, especially Word. I have to wait 15 sec before I can get past the blue background and then another 5 sec for it to load/continue where I left off. If this is a common thing with all iPads, why even bother using the app? I am planning on getting the new Pro, but no longer for the purpose of studying on it. The thought of waiting for the app to load while my teacher tells us valid information terrifies me. I'll stick to my MBP and use the iPad Pro at home.
  9. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    If you have an ipad already & have two weeks until you get the new iPad, why not download the apps & try using them. If your current iPad is smaller than 10", you can use the apps for free. I used them for my MBA & found them to be quite good, but not good enough to completely eliminate the need for a computer. Everything sracer said above is completely true. Of the three, I found Excel to be the most frustrating to use on the iPad, Powerpoint the best & word in the middle.

    As far as which set to go with, Office or iWork, if you are going to be sharing files with others who use office, I'd recommend using the office apps. If the work you will be doing will only be shared as PDF's or you will be doing presentations using the iPad, then iWork becomes more of an option. Numbers however, is much more limited than Excel, and some of those limitations would drive me nuts after a while. Also, which ever one you go with, I would recommend downloading & keeping both on your iPad for a couple of reasons.

    1. Each app has it's strengths. I find Pages to be much easier to add pictures, etc to documents, but the Office apps can't be beat for compatibility with the outside world. Often times I would create a document in Pages/ Numbers, and then export it to Word/ Excel, and finish it off in there so I could send it out and guarantee compatibility.
    2. There were times when I needed to view one document and work on another at the same time (two word docs or two excel spreadsheets). There is no practical way to do this with an iPad using only one app (there may be some new way that I'm not aware of, but when I did this extensively two years ago, there wasn't). Each app can open only one doc at a time, so I would open the one I wanted to read in one app & the one I wanted to work on in the other (Pages & Word or Numbers & Excel), and you can then use Split screen to access both at the same time. (When I was doing it, you had to do the 4 finger swipe to go between docs).

    Good luck on your adventure. open piece of advice I would offer is that it gets easier as you go along. Using office apps on an iPad will never be as easy as working on a computer, but as you get used to how the apps work, you get much faster on them, and they become much easier/more enjoyable to use.
  10. Diving Capers thread starter macrumors 6502

    Diving Capers

    Jun 10, 2017
    Of the three office apps the work load should be split Word 40%, Excel 40% and PowerPoint 20%. I'll be working alone on the documents and only sharing PDFs with someone who will make sure I don't miss any typos or spelling.

    It's also been a couple of years since I used my iPad for anything remotely close to this, it's an iPad 4 and the poor thing is showing its age.

    I was hoping, that since then, it had become possible to open two documents in one app, I like your tip about having both flavors of each app installed for just that reason.

    However, since I am keeping this iPad I am thinking about using it to open documents I need to reference. This will allow me to use the whole screen on the Pro for the doc I'm working on and also have 3 docs open and easily referenced at once when needed.

    I do need portability and decent battery life and it would probably be more sensible to get a MacBook or 13"MBP, but if I do that then the project becomes just another project. Writing SOP's and Budgets is hardly exciting so I want to spice it up a little :)

    The way I see it, is that if I find that it's impossible or an unbearable pain then I just go back to the computer, but if I manage to get through it and complete it on the iPads then it will be a lot cooler when I'm done :p... even if it will just be me patting me in the back

    Thanks for your reply and have a great day.
  11. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    Let us know how the project goes. I find this kind of stuff fascinating. I think you made the right choice going with the 12.9" iPad. I only have ever used a mini & a 9.7" iPad & the bigger ones were way better for office type apps. The extra screen real estate on the 12.9" will come in very handy.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 30, 2017 ---
    I just timed it on my mini & it took 12 seconds for Excel to open to the screen where I can select my document.
  12. TinaBelcher Suspended

    Jul 23, 2017
    It's ridiculous how slow it is. I don't understand how students have patience for this mess
  13. sparksd macrumors 68000

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    About 4 secs. on my Air 2 for the same.
  14. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    The inability to have multiple documents open at the same time is what kills the iPad from being a serious MP replacement for me (well, that and lack of mouse support). I regularly have multiple documents open side by side and need my computer for that.
  15. TinaBelcher Suspended

    Jul 23, 2017
    Same here. I will often go back and forth between documents on my mac when I study. This is why I cannot use an iPad for school.
  16. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    Granted it's only two, but I do that all the time. I mentioned it earlier In this thread. I open one doc in word and another in pages (or excel/numbers). It's much better now with split screen. Before I used to have to use the four finger swipe to move back and forth between the two apps
  17. Diving Capers thread starter macrumors 6502

    Diving Capers

    Jun 10, 2017
    Since Apple has already done it (2 windows simultaneously) with safari , one would think that they will eventually do it for their iWork apps.

    Would the reason, for them not having done it before, be that they use more resources than safari?

    I wonder if the new iPad pro's have enough power to do it at a level where Apple thinks it will be smooth enough to implement.

    If they did it it would certainly give them an edge over office.

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